Best Bets: Thursday and Friday in the NBA
There are some big games coming up in the NBA. After several blockbuster trades and seeing superstars and role players being moved around the league, some of this week’s matchups, on paper, get a bit more interesting.
The reshaping of rosters changes the outlook and hopes of many teams. But what are the most enticing bets for the upcoming slate of games?
At 7:30 PM ET on Thursday, the Chicago Bulls take on the Nets in Brooklyn. In the past week, the Nets have traded away both Kyrie Irving, the ball-handling mastermind point guard, and Kevin Durant, the superstar sharpshooting forward. Those are big losses to a team sitting in the middle of the East’s top 10.
However, Cam Thomas has emerged in the absence of those stars. He’s scored 40+ in three straight games, including a performance against the Clippers where he almost eclipsed 50. Fanduel has the over/under for Thomas’ points at 25.5. That is one of the most enticing bets of the week, seeing as he’s soared past that in each of the last three games. Obviously, I recommend taking the over.
Buck-Hunting in LA
Later on Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. Both teams are coming off trades, Los Angeles finally unloading the burdensome Russell Westbrook and acquired point guard D’Angelo Russell, among others.
The Bucks picked up Jae Crowder to add to their deep roster. The Lakers are fighting for a spot in the play-in tournament amid an up-and-down season. The Bucks have championship aspirations.
Though the Lakers have been playing somewhat better basketball since the turn of the new year, including impressive wins against the Grizzlies and Knicks and a neck-and-neck contest with the Boston Celtics, their chances in this matchup just took a big blow.
Originally, I was leaning toward the Lakers covering, but Lebron James has just been ruled out with an ankle injury, and I think that will be too much for Los Angeles to stomach. Betting-wise, Fanduel has the Bucks favored at -8.5. I recommend picking the Bucks to cover.
I also recommend picking the Bucks to win by 11+. Even with Anthony Davis playing and the new D’Angelo Russell adding what he can to this squad, the Bucks should easily take care of business against the hobbled Lakers.
Redemption for Jayson Tatum
On Friday, the Celtics play the Hornets at home. Boston is coming off an impressive short-handed win against the 76ers. However, Jayson Tatum only scored 12 points. It was a lackluster scoring performance from the MVP candidate, who averages 30.9 points per game this season. He usually follows his mediocre performances with sensational ones, especially against bottom-feeders like the Hornets.
Fanduel currently has the over/under on Tatum’s points at 33.5. I recommend taking the over. Tatum rarely has back-to-back bad games. Robert Williams and Al Horford may be back from injury, helping to take pressure off Tatum, which will open up more opportunities for the star forward.
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